Durango students develop deli with healthy food options

Devin Neeley
September 20, 2016 06:42 PM

DURANGO, Colo. — The Durango School District is taking lessons from the classroom and applying them to the cafeteria. An award-winning market plan developed by students is now off paper and in reality.


It looks like a cool lunch spot for high school students.

“I think it’s a great place, for it being healthy and fast food,” Durango High School sophomore Ben Bates said.

The Demon Deli actually started as homework. Dave Dillman, a marketing teacher and sponsor for Distributive Club of America, or DECA, was approached by district staff to do some market research on what students wanted in their lunch options.

“We felt that students would take it more seriously and respond with better answers for us and really get to the bottom of what they want if it was a student-led project,” said Krista Garand, the district’s nutrition coordinator.

What students learned turned into a full-blown marketing project for two seniors last year.

“Definitely student interest in eating something quick and nutritional and available on campus,” Dillman said.

Their work won second place in a national DECA competition, and Tuesday the project turned into the Demon Deli, serving up breakfast and lunch 5 days a week.

“The food choices are amazing, you can just go up there before class and grab something to eat, like an apple or whatever you want,” Bates said.

Now students have another option for a healthy meal, and can see their business lessons in action.

“I never get the question, ‘when are we ever going to use this?’” Dillman said.


Devin Neeley

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